If you’re trying to manage a project of any size, spreadsheets won’t be sufficient. There’s a limit to how much you can do with coloured boxes on a grid, backed up with email. There will come a time when you’ll have to switch to using tools more suited to professionally managed projects ‚Äì tools that will save you time and help you collaborate effectively with your team.
Online project management software tools are one option for teams looking to adopt feature-rich applications that will help you manage the project successfully. But why make the switch if you’ve managed so far with spreadsheets and documents? Here are 3 of the benefits of online project management tools.
1. It’s easy to access your files
Online tools make it easy to access your files. Let’s face it, your project team spend a fair amount of time online anyway, so this is just another way for them to work together and collaborate online. The tools have user-friendly interfaces that make them easy to learn, so it’s just like using another website.
Another benefit is that you can access files from anywhere. Whether your team are in the office, at home or on the road, they can still get hold of the latest project schedule or risk log. This gives you some security benefits too, as there is no need to copy files onto a flash drive which could get lost. Instead, you can access the latest copy of everything from wherever you happen to be.
2. Get information in real-time
With online access making it so easy to get hold of your project files, there’s no excuse for not being able to keep everything up to date in real-time. Your team members can complete their timesheets, update their tasks and record their status as they go. If they are using the project management software as their main interface for the working day, there’s no issue with going into another application to submit documentation or update issues.
The other benefit here is that you can use the in-built reporting features to pull information about project progress and status ‚Äì and it will always reflect the situation of today, not what happened last month.
3. Collaborate with your team
Online tools have the advantage of including collaboration features. If you are working with virtual teams ‚Äì and most of us are ‚Äì then you can start discussions, send instant messages, set up email alerts and share files. Being able to chat as a group is a real benefit because it saves the overhead of having to send lots of emails. It also means that your whole discussion is recorded and can be archived, which is great as you’ll get a complete history of why decisions were taken.
Why not send someone a quick message to find out if they are at their desk and able to take a phone call? It will save a lot of time and prevent the team from being tied up in endless meetings.
Online project management software is a very effective way of working. It gives you lots of security, full back ups, collaboration features and instant access to important project files. If you are struggling to manage your projects effectively with spreadsheets and email, why not give it a try?
Recommended Project Management Software
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following: